31 March 2009

Busy Sunday

I for one am hoping for good weather on Sunday. Firstly, it is the first Sunday Breakfast meet of the year at Samphire Hoe. A new venture for the Kent Centre of the Suzuki Owners Club, and a new venue.

The cafe is more of a giant tea-bar and so there is very little cover. There are loads of picnic tables to sit at though!

Secondly, it is the Whitstable Easter Egg Run. I usually go but after a few years of burning the clutch out on the mass ride out, I tend to go and dump the eggs with the organisers and watch the column leaving. Then go home. Might do the same depending on weather!

As both are the same day we have a cunning plan (© Baldrick) to get from one to the other.

The Samphire Hoe meeting is 10am and after a chinwag, we'll have a ride round to Folkestone Harbour and check out the seafood stalls before going to the meeting place for the run to Whitstable. It makes two events for the Centre diary.

Fingers crossed for sunny or at least dry weather.

We're on our way to Wembley!

Things are building up for a first trip to Wembley, where 80000 plus will make their way to the new stadium, many for the first time.

Use public transport we are told. "Cut the carbon footprint". So why then does TfL make it difficult by having a part suspension of the Jubilee Line?

As usual the arse and the elbow have no idea.

Integrated transport policy for London. Rubbish.

29 March 2009

Swedish Choccie

Swedish Choccie, originally uploaded by Devaldinho.

Nothing to right on the motorcycle front, but this was too good to miss.

A chocolate that tastes good and has a rather exciting name. Okay, not actually exciting but funny for us English.

23 March 2009

MoT time again

Okay, so my GS might be a little care worn, and yes, the paint is starting to lift on the barrels but it is 10 years old.

It (I avoid calling the bike "she") was first registered in Bavaria in early 1999 and was then brought to UK later that year and registered by now defunct dealership SPC. So in UK it is not a decade old until September 2009.

I still have the old registration document that came in the pack with the service book and handbook, both in German. Anyway, MoT time.

I had the bioke out a couple of weeks ago for the Ally Pally show, but haven't had much opportunity to get out and about until this weekend. The MoT ran out on 15th march, so to comply with the law, I booked a specific time at my local bike dealers, Alford Brothers, in Folkestone. Since I moved to this area I've had my TDM and GT worked on there. The former for servicing and the latter for a an accident claim back in 2000. I bought a Bandit 1200 in 2001. I checked everything over and gave it a wash and brush up. The oil leak they identified last year that loses a little from the back of the engine near the gearbox doesn't seem to have got any worse, I'll have to get it sorted some time this year.
The horn decided not to work. A bit of fiddling with the wires and nothing, then it seemed to sort itself and so all the way to the shop I was testing it.

Claire came with me and all the time the bike was in Alford's we spent in Phones-4-U seeing about a phone upgrade for Claire. No change tarif, just a new phone. She chose a Nokia 5800, but can't have it until April 1st.

We strolled back to the shop and usually it's outside wating to be ridden away, it wasn't. Dread! It was in the workshop and had passed. For the second year they noted play in the rear wheel bearings that was dismissed by the mechanics at Europ Touring

So that's it for another year. Now to get out and put some mileage on it again. where it had its 48000 miles service last year.

16 March 2009

Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens

The gardens and castle only opened the day before went for our regular look to see what was happening in the garden. It was quieter than expected and we took the car rather than the bike (no MoT!). Excellent weather in the end!

Somehow I managed to take 161 pics on the day! Most of them aren't very good and will never see the light of day but there were a few decent ones. Exactly what digital cameras bring to the world.

Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens, originally uploaded by Devaldinho.

I tried the above to see what sepia looked like. I took one in colour as well and decided this one looked a bit better.

Sissinghurst Castle & Garden, originally uploaded by Devaldinho.

Above are the oast houses right by the entrance in front of the castle main entrance. This set are quite spectacular as they have both the more common round oast and the square ones. In its heyday the farm must have provided tons and tons of malt from these oasts.

Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens, originally uploaded by Devaldinho.

I just had to take the pic above to get the reflection in the water but as I clicked the fish rose and the ripples had an effect.

5 March 2009

My GT and Steve's Bandit

img002, originally uploaded by stevehh@yahoo.com.
In the Alps.

The trip was in 1999.  On the way to the Wasserbuffel Treffen at Schloss Moosham in Austria.

We met in Salzburg after Steve had been to the Czech Invader Rally in Brno.

For this part of the trip we headed down over the Grossglockner and stayed in Heiligenblut.  The idea was that we were going to stay in the Youth Hostel but we couldn 't find it.  So we stayed at a hotel.

The following day we headed out over the Alps to the Dolomites for a circuit around the Pordoi area then back to an overnight stay.

The next day we road all the way to Venice for a few hours before heading north to Austria via a few miles of Slovenia.

2 March 2009

Ally Pally Bike Show

Luckily I won a pair of tickets for this show, otherwise I would have been very disappointed at the lack of bikes to look at and paw. Without a single manufacturer present it was always going to be a bit flat, but they usually get a local dealers to bring along a few bikes for punters to sit on.

Instead it was left to a few clubs and museums to bring along some bikes to look at, plus the Ace Cafe had a display of customs and classics.

The rest of it was like a bring and buy sale and a load of make weights i.e. non-motorcycling stuff, although the watches looked pretty good.

The ride up was okay. I met Graham at the Oakdene, arriving at the same time as a huge group from my local BMW Club Section were preparing to leave on a run. Had I arrived earlier I would have gone across for a chat and showed my face, but they were all togged and helmeted up.

As it was the first run out of the year I was expecting a few problems. I had given it the once over in the week; tyres and oil etc.

The main problem was the ABS wouldn't boot up. The lights staying on and I put this down to not being used for a while and also maybe a low battery. Confident I set off anyway. The blinking of the two red lights is irritating and the more the buggers flash to more paranoid I became.

The only other niggle was a little corrosion in the contacts in the Quest cradle had the power cutting out and its 30 second countdown to power off, and on occasions the dulcet tones of SWMBO
cut out or were simply muted.

At the Oakdene I had a fiddle with my fingernail and cleared the corrosion (for now?) and will sort it later. Must get some contact cleaner from work if they have any on the Internal ICT helpdesk! After that all was perfect with GPS.

On starting off the ABS crunched and graunched and the lights went off. All was right with the world.

It was a chilly run up to the Blackwall Tunnel, where a combination of the A2 roadworks at Blackheath and the Rotherhithe Tunnel being shut led to a long tail back of weekenders. Once clear of them we had run up through 'Ackney and Stoke Newington, eventually arriving at the Ally Pally following the AA signs rather than the GPS.

At the show all I bought was a new EDZ Inner Shell jacket. I have one but it is like a sausage skin on me and it isn't very long. The new ones on the Travel Dri stand were much longer; evolution I expect. I enthused so much that Graham bought one too.

To avoid the traffic we encountered on the way in, I chose a more direct route, so I thought. In the end it was heavy traffic out to the North Circular and easy enough all the way to the Dartford

In the end I got home to see the last two minutes of normal time in the Carling Cup Final.

For a first ride of the year it was chilly but enjoyable.

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